Can we really fix a screwed-up world? Rebecca Henderson thinks we can.

By: Hal Hamilton   The most important book I’ve read in years is Rebecca Henderson’s Reimaging Capitalism in a World on Fire. It’s the right book for this moment during which we each tumble with both fear and hope. She occasionally lets her deep caring show, but her style is pragmatic, almost matter of fact as…

Keeping Change Moving When Everything Stops

Many of us are finding silver linings in the global shutdown, even as we fret about the fate of our more vulnerable partners in farming communities bound to suffer dearly from the economic fall-out of the pandemic. While comparatively small, the opportunity to engage for longer, more reflective conversations is one such silver lining.  The…

TaskForce for Coffee Living Income: Bridging the Gap from Procurement Practices to Living Income in Coffee Growers

By Stephanie Daniels The concept of living income of farmers allows us to consider if the combined effect of various farming practices, voluntary sustainability standards, productivity investments and premiums prices all add up to the conditions under which farmers can afford a decent standard of living. It can facilitate the dialogue regarding the smart mix…

A View of the Future While Standing in the Mud

By Elizabeth Reaves Just a few weeks ago the Food Lab and some of our corporate partners were standing around in the muddied farmyard of a large Washington State dairy, with a chilly Pacific Northwest mist clinging to the hillsides and sitting low over the cows lined up for milking. For the Food Lab team,…

Food Lab Supports Mars Petcare to Achieve Climate-Smart Wheat Supply Chain

Mars Petcare, with project support from the Food Lab, has become the first company to deliver a case study measuring carbon using the new Gold Standard protocols (standards designed to meet the global GHG reduction goals set forth in the Paris Agreement). Most farmers do not manage for GHGs, but they care about their soils…

Bold Effort Launched Turn Agriculture from a Major GHG Source into a Climate Change Solution

Last month, Daniella Malin, the Food Lab’s Agriculture & Climate Program Director, participated in a launch meeting of OpenTEAM in Denver, Colorado. The collaborative project seeks to harness vast amounts of open source data and software to drive soil health improvements across millions of acres of farmland and change the future of our planet. OpenTEAM…

Parenting and System Leadership: A Common Path to Mastery

By Hal Hamilton   Since I became a live-next-door grandfather, it has occurred to me that the path to personal mastery, common to both parenting and system leadership, is revealing. I notice the following approaches by both parents and leaders: Make demands. Figure out shared self-interest. Facilitate long-term shifts. Each of these three approaches is…

Webinar: Lessons Learned: Two Years of Small Grains in the Corn Belt

As part of our Small Grains in the Corn Belt initiative, Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and the Food Lab are asking the questions: Can farmers be profitable when adding a small grain and cover crop to their corn and soy rotation?  What additional sustainability value can be captured by the supply chain? Is it…